(photo: Carson Kelly/Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images)
Memphis Redbirds press release
The Pacific Coast League announced on Wednesday that Carson Kelly, Ryan Sherriff, and Luke Weaver have been selected to represent the Memphis Redbirds at the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game presented by CHI Franciscan Health.
The game, which pits the Pacific Coast League opposite the International League, will take place on Wednesday, July 12 at 8 p.m. (CT) at Cheney Stadium, the home of the Tacoma Rainiers. It will be televised live nationally on MLB Network.
Kelly, 22, will be participating in his third mid-season All-Star game of his career, also making the team in the Midwest League with Peoria in 2014 and in the Texas League with Springfield last year. The reigning Cardinals’ Minor League Hitter of the Year also participated in the 2016 All-Star Futures Game in San Diego and entered the season as a consensus top-5 prospect in the Cardinals organization.
This season, Kelly has been a constant force in the Redbirds lineup, entering play on Wednesday hitting .279 with 7 HR and 31 RBI. He has racked up 55 hits in 55 games, and earlier this year, was named the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for May after hitting .381 with 3 HR and 15 RBI in 22 games.
Sherriff, 27, garners All-Star honors for the second straight season after retiring the only batter he faced in the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game. The southpaw reliever has impressed yet again this season in the Memphis bullpen, allowing 14 runs on 30 hits in 34.2 innings with 31 strikeouts against seven walks. He has converted four of five save opportunities and also posted a 2-0 record.
Entering Wednesday, Sherriff is tied for the second-most appearances in the league (31) and ranked among league leaders in fewest baserunners per 9 IP (9.61, 3rd) and lowest walks per 9 IP (1.56, 4th).
Weaver, 23, is remarkably a mid-season All-Star for the first time in his career. He was named a post-season All-Star in the Texas League while pitching for Springfield in 2016. The reigning Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year has been dominant in his first full season at Triple-A, going 6-1 with a miniscule 2.16 ERA in 10 starts. In 50.0 innings, Weaver has allowed only 14 runs (12 earned) on 38 hits with 11 walks and 54 strikeouts.
He has not pitched enough innings to qualify for the league leaderboard, but if he had, he would lead the league in ERA and WHIP (0.98), and rank second in opponents average (.209), and third in strikeouts per 9 IP (9.72) and lowest walks per 9 IP (1.98). Weaver is a unanimous top-2 pitching prospect in the Cardinals organization and entered the season as a top-70 prospect in all of baseball.
Brian Walton’s take
All three selections are well-deserved. As a bit of background, here is the process used by the PCL. In a fan vote, nine position players, two starting pitchers and two relievers were “elected” onto the team. These are the presumed starters. 17 other players were “selected” by the league, apparently considered reserves. The trio of Cardinals are in the latter group.
Former Cardinals minor leaguer Ildemaro Vargas is also among those selected to the team. The infielder is now with Arizona’s Reno affiliate.
The three Memphis representatives are a significant improvement from 2016, when Sherriff was the only Redbird to participate, having been named to the team after the promotion of Sam Tuivailala to St. Louis.
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